The Teacher Tip

Use Writing to Change the World

November 2, 2017

Adapted from Second Grade Writers by Stephanie Parsons

These days, children of all ages are being asked to use writing to express opinions and make logical arguments. But what's the point of having these writing skills if they're not used to make a difference in the world? 

In her unit of study titled "Writing for Change," Stephanie Parsons helps students understand how writing can be used to make the world a better place. She shows them five specific purposes writing can fulfill. Try them.

  • Convince people to change the way they do something, as Molly Bang does in Common Ground.
  • Describe the beauty of something worth protecting, as Takayo Noda does in Dear World.
  • Describe the benefits of doing something more often, as Jen Green and Mike Gordon do in Why Should I Recycle?
  • Send a message about how to treat people, as Todd Parr does in The Peace Book.
  • Inspire people to be brave, as Jeanette Winter does in The Librarian of Basra.

Make sure students understand that good argument and opinion writing is not an end in itself or just school work – it has work to do in the world. 

To learn more about Second Grade Writers, and to download a sample chapter, visit


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